Shipbuilding. Energy. Transport

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Shipbuilding. Energy. Transport Maritime Market magazine

Press Release

Hamburg as GermanyТs largest universal port leaves the worldwide financial and economic crisis of 2010 in its wake

Seaborne cargo throughput of 121 million tons represents achievement of growth of almost 10 percent

Feb. 8, 2011 - In 2010 the Port of Hamburg returned to its growth course with total throughput of 121 million tons. Alongside the gratifying progress of the German economy, the markets in the Baltic region and in Eastern Europe that are so important for the Port of Hamburg recovered ground in the course of 2010. The upshot was distinct growth compared to the crisis year 2009 in both general and bulk cargo throughput. In 2010, 7.9 million TEU (20-ft. standard containers) crossed Hamburg's quay walls, making for a 12.7 boost in container throughput. Given a continued positive trend for the world economy and the resulting stabilization and growth in world goods transport by oceangoing ships, for 2011 the Port of Hamburg also anticipates distinct growth in seaborne cargo throughput.

Claudia Roller, Chief Executive Officer of Hafen Port of Hamburg Marketing, today presented 2010 throughput figures at the Annual Port of Hamburg press conference. "On both general and bulk cargoes, we are delighted at the gratifying result on throughput. With 121 million tons of seaborne cargoes handled, in 2010 the total for the Port of Hamburg was around 11 million tons up on 2009," explained Roller. "In Hamburg too, in 2009 the worldwide economic and financial crisis led to a steep downturn in seaborne cargo throughput. In 2010 we are not yet again up to the volumes handled that we should like to have. Despite the satisfactory process of catching up in the course of the second half of 2010, we did not quite reach the previous year's level," said Claudia Roller. "The available national economic data cause us to reckon on being able to resume the record figures of 2008 again during the first half of 2012," she added. For 2011 this expert on the port expects that the revival of foreign trade in Eastern Europe and Russia combined with further growth in German foreign trade will lead to a positive development in seaborne cargo throughput for the universal port of Hamburg. In addition, the People's Republic of China, the Port of Hamburg's leading foreign trade partner in the container trades, has since 2010 again ensured growing cargo flows transported by sea. In 2010 the Port of Hamburg as a virtual hub for the Asia and China trade routes with Northern Europe and the Baltic states was already able to profit from this positive trend and can reckon on overall growth of very nearly 10 percent for 2011," forecast Roller. Against this background Christoph Ahlhaus, First Mayor, stated: "This success was the work of many, representative of whom I should especially like to single out Port of Hamburg Marketing for its successful activities. That our city's economic performance - its gross domestic product - should have reached its pre-crisis level is a great achievement envied by many. We have every reason to approach the challenges that lie ahead of us with optimism."

Economists and research institutes are also forecasting growth in world trade for 2011. The IMF and OECD are assuming that world trade will grow by between 7 and 8 percent in 2011. Given largely undisrupted expansion of the world economy, a continuation of the upward trend in the German economy may be anticipated, with growth rates of 2.0 and 1.5 percent in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

"The efforts made to attract more ship traffic back to Hamburg have paid off. Backed by all players in the port, the transhipment incentive system met with very good acceptance and was in part utilized to the maximum limit. This has contributed to the post-crisis return of the feeder services to Hamburg," said Jens Meier, Managing Director of Hamburg Port Authority.

An Overview of the Port of Hamburg's satisfactory year in 2010

On the import side the Port of Hamburg's marketing organization, Port of Hamburg Marketing, announced throughput of 70.4 million tons (+ 13.2 percent). Exports via Hamburg at 50.8 million tons (+ 5.4 percent) also developed positively in comparison to the previous year. Dominating the picture in Hamburg, at 80.9 million tons general cargo throughput achieved an increase of 9.9 percent. Bulk cargo throughput reached 40.3 million tons and was accordingly up by 9.5 percent.

In 2010, the year under review, the Port of Hamburg's container throughput totalled 78.4 million tons (+ 10.1 percent). Expressed in TEU (20-ft. standard containers), this represented 7.9 million TEU (+ 12.7 percent).

Asia again retained its top place in 2010 among trade routes for container traffic with the Port of Hamburg. In 2010 altogether 4.7 million TEU to and from Asia were handled, or around 585,000 TEU (14.1 percent) more than in the previous year. Numerous liner services suspended or reduced during the crisis resumed operations in 2010 or had their capacities topped up once more.

An increasing number of particularly large ships are calling at the Port of Hamburg. Even now, substantial investments in the port and its infrastructure, as well as new IT systems, mean that Hamburg is well prepared to handle growing volumes of seaborne cargoes and goods transported. With more than 900 calls by mega-ships in Hamburg expected in 2011, the planned adjustment of the Lower and Outer Elbe rurgently needs to be implemented. Senator Karan once again underlined the significance of this project: "The upgrading of the navigation channel of the Elbe is accordingly a question of survival for Hamburg; I think we are all aware of that. More than 150,000 jobs depend on the port in Hamburg and the metropolitan region. Nor is it only Hamburgians who are involved. The port is Lower Saxony's second largest employer, and Schleswig-Holstein's largest!"

Along with very strong political support from Berlin and Schleswig-Holstein, business in the Port of Hamburg is therefore counting on an emphatic - yet still outstanding - endorsement from its neighbours in Lower Saxony of this infrastructure project of both national and European importance. With its dense network of worldwide liner services and its outstanding transport links for the German economy and those of its European neighbours, the Port of Hamburg performs a key function in worldwide foreign trade and is therefore of crucial importance for thriving foreign trade in Lower Saxony.

With a large proportion of Asian import and export cargoes via Hamburg being transshipped by sea to other European ports in feeder traffic, at 1.6 million containers (TEU) transport with the Baltic region showed a gain of 9.8 percent. This growth was partly attributable to the feeder services regained after having being diverted towards ports further west in the crisis year. With around 154 sailings per week, Hamburg remains the leading feeder port in Northern Europe for the entire Baltic region.

In traffic with the Baltic region, the Kiel Canal gives Hamburg and the German North Sea ports an important locational advantage thanks to the short voyage times and, depending on the departure and arrival ports, the distance saved in competition with the Northern European seaports further West. Growth in ship traffic and the change in the structure of the fleet using the Kiel Canal mean that the canal's sharp curves and lateral dimensions are to a growing extent causing a bottleneck for traffic. "To improve the safety and the capacity of the Kiel Canal for traffic and to maintain the economic advantage of passage through it, from the Hamburg angle too upgrading of the canal is urgently required. In trans-European infrastructure, the Kiel Canal makes a substantial contribution towards relieving pressure on routes used by carriers ashore that are increasingly hitting the limits of their capacity," explained Claudia Roller.

"The highest proportion by a wide margin of seaborne cargoes transported by rail, the densest network in Northern Europe of feeder connections to the Baltic region, a growing proportion of goods transported by inland waterway craft and the great choice of trucking companies make Hamburg the leading port and logistics region," emphasized Claudia Roller, who also spoke positively of the Hamburg decision to participate in the "25-metre truck utilization test". With its warehousing and logistics areas inside and outside the port, its superb direct autobahn links as well as its port and trimodal terminals, Hamburg is Germany's largest cargo and logistics centre and should therefore promote innovative solutions for cargo transport.

Another gratifying feature is the increase in conventional general cargo throughput that reached 2.6 million tons (or 5.4 percent). Exports of project cargo and vehicles at 1.1 million tons (up by 19.5 percent) played an important role in this result. "Against a background of high added value and growing export volumes, handling of non-containerized cargo is very valuable for port businesses. Numerous firms offer special services and such unusual equipment as the loading cranes for especially heavy plant elements and for the transport and handling of heavy cargo. In successful cooperation with German inland ports along the Elbe and its lateral canals, more project cargoes are being transported by barge to the Port of Hamburg, packed and then loaded on to the ocean-going ship," commented Roller.

Bulk cargo throughput in 2010 reached a total of 40.3 million tons (up 9.5 percent). The main growth under this heading was in the form of imports of grab cargoes. Growth in inland steel production, for example, caused a 60.7 percent increase in iron ore imports to 9.3 million tons. At 10.3 million tons, imports of liquid cargoes were 8 percent higher in 2010. Increases of 9 percent in crude oil imports and of 14.3 percent in mineral oil products were the main factors behind this growth. The figure for suction goods imports at 3.3 million tons failed by just 0.8 percent to reach the previous year's level. Imports of wheat reached 632,000 tons and were accordingly 33.9 percent higher.

Exports of bulk cargoes in 2010 totalled 10.3 million tons, or 9.3 percent below the previous year's above-average total. Exports of wheat and also of other suction cargoes remained well below the strong figure attained in 2009. On grab cargoes, exports totaling 3.2 million tons were handled, or 23.5 percent more. At 2.2 million tons, this handling sector is dominated by fertilizer exports that were 28.6 percent higher. Exports of liquid cargoes, preponderantly of oil products, totalled 3.8 million tons and were 21.6 percent down on the previous year.

Among its customers and partners in worldwide trade, the Port of Hamburg enjoys a very high reputation and degree of awareness. Hamburg is notable for service of excellent quality, a dense network of liner and feeder services, as well as rapid, efficient and environmentally friendly transport and distribution solutions for the seaport's hinterland. On the basis of the already existing foundation, for more than 25 years Port of Hamburg Marketing has conducted successful marketing work for seaport business in Hamburg and the region. "In 2010 opening of the new Hafen Hamburg representative offices in Mumbai and Berlin and the replacements appointed in place of the retiring heads of our offices in Dresden and Budapest enabled us to expand and consolidate our network of information and marketing competence," said Claudia Roller. A further Port of Hamburg Marketing representative office is to be opened in Brazil before the end of 2011. After the association's anniversary last year, in 2011 our work will be focused on more than 80 events, participations in international trade fairs, numerous marketing projects for members companies, customers and partners, as well as a large number of communications measures, such as the expansion, for example, of Europe's largest port information platform "As a marketing organization, this year we shall be putting the advantages of ecologically and economically efficient transport chains via the Port of Hamburg at the forefront of our communications activities," explained Claudia Roller.


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